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What would you change about the british education system?

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    What's wrong with it now?
    Why would this benefit society?

    Personally, I'd try and promote students to take an active interest in subjects and read around them (I know this is encouraged in college, but it should be a priority in lower years as well), and revamp the methods of assessment.

    Knowing about things happening in the real world and being passionate about a subject rather than just memorising content and practising past papers will have a positive effect on everybody..
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    Make lessons more rounded, learning more about the whole subject as opposed to just what you need to pass the exam. I mean, obviously you can't digress too much, I'm just sick of people asking interesting questions in lessons, to then be told by teachers that it's not on the syllabus, we don't need it in exams, so we're not going to go into that.

    (Sorry, no idea how to answer 'how'. Neither does the govt apparently...)
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    The problem now in secondary education is that exam grades are all squashed concertina-style at the top. i.e. there is a big crush at the top between the A*, A, B, C grades in very tiny margins (otherwise the A* wouldn't have to exist). Meanwhile, the grades below C have been completely de-valued. This is common to GCSE and A levels. If most universities are asking for A or B in most subjects - there's no point in having grades below C.

    This is obviously due to the moronic grade inflation that started in the 1990s and was given fuel injection by New Labour.

    The grades for GCSE and A-level need to be reset, and the stigma needs to be taken out of low grades, or indeed, failure.

    It should be the case that GCSEs should be much, much tougher - and that if the average student is going to fail some of them outright - so be it. If you come out of GCSE French barely able to read the menu at Cafe Rouge - then frankly you deserve to fail, not to get a C.

    Same with A-levels. At the moment, universities are giving stupid offers of A*A*A - which is meaningless. Only absolutely exceptional students should be getting straight As. The average A-level student should be scoring in the ABC or BBB range, and offers at mid-level universities should reflect that. There should be nothing wrong with studying and working hard and getting BBC and going to (for example) Exeter to read History.

    I'll be honest, I think the A-levels should really convert to a GPA-type grading system.

    In Tertiary education, I think there are too many subjects that should not be taught at university at all - not to say they're Mickey Mouse, but that University is the wrong place for them. I would revert to a Polytechnic-type system where large numbers of qualifications are devolved to colleges, whose awards are validated by universities. These awards could be in the form of Diplomas or such like, could be shorter, cheaper and more easily combined with practical work. Accountancy springs to mind, as do most practise-based technical courses. I would try to remove as many people from University as possible so as to allow for the lowest possible university fees.

    I would also quantify the cost of secondary education on a continuous basis - eg £4000 per year or whatever, and allow parents that choose to send their children to public school to have 50% of that sum as a subsidy on fees, paid directly to the school.

    ***EDIT*** Almost forgot - make Classics compulsory on the National Curriculum. Everyone must take one of either Latin, Greek, Classics or Ancient History.
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    Get rid of R.S (religious studies) and replace it with 'Philosophical studies'.

    I think calling it Religious studies at the moment is partly why this subject puts off so many students right from year 7 upwards, most kids aren't actually religious so I think the whole name of this subject is discouraging. Also, instead of learning about the technical workings of each religion (which quite frankly is boring as hell - no pun), there should be greater emphasis on the ethics/moral and reasoning side to each religion and their stances on various issues, from my experience, these are exact sort of things that get people interested and enthuisatic about learning and debating - because they're controversial!

    So by doing this, the new title of 'Philosophical studies' is much more appropriate. Just like R.S currently is taught, this should be rolled out to kids from year 7 onwards up to the end of GCSE. There is also the additional benefit that political philosophy can be brought in as well. Improving people's understanding of politics is vital, and coincidently this is something thats a major issue right now with low voter turnouts and the general apathy towards politics.
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    I think people should come out of school knowing more about adult life as in like the organization of the government, how to write a CV and covering letters, what different types of loans are for and a basic understanding of the terminology. I wasn't taught any of that stuff at school and not everybody has parents that will take the time to explain it to them and show them how to do things.

    I also think they should be made to read more books to expand their vocabularies because there are people my age (19) who don't know what quite basic words mean. I think they should have gotten the hang of working out what a word means through the context in which it is used in a book and learning it themselves rather than constantly asking people 'what does that word mean?'

    Oh and also... I think maths and science GCSE's should be harder to lessen the jump between them and A-levels.

    BTECs should have more praise and recognition than they do because they aren't as easy as people think and they inspire more independant thinking because you actually have to come up with your own scientific projects and things rather than just learning whats in the textbook and writing it in an exam.
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    Stop primary teachers saying to kids around about Yr 3-4 "right everyone, we're doing Algebra today so listen very carefully, it's really hard"

    Of course it's hard, you've just told them it's hard you numpty!! If you'd told them it was fun, there's an outside chance they might have believed that instead.

    Rewrite the entire maths curriculum so that there are two GCSEs, theoretical maths and maths for living, just like we have double award science and double English. Single English, Maths and Science for people who only need single and double for those planning to take the subjects further. Proper monetary budgeting etc should be on the maths for living so that people come out of school really understanding how APRs and PayDay loans work, how the banking system works, plus the maths that we really need for everyday life and some basic stats. Theoretical maths would then contain trig, algebraic fractions, vectors, a bit of mechanics, more stats, intro to calculus and matrices. That would cover a useful base for Maths A level instead of C1 having to do it instead. The current Additional Maths GCSE could then be incorporated partly into the theoretical maths GCSE and partly into C1/M1/S1.

    Not that I've spent any time thinking about this at all you understand

    BTW I tutor Maths to GCSE and A level with the odd help out for kids I know studying 1st year Uni and used to teach Mechanics (MST207/9) for the Open University, hence me truly having spent hours swearing at the current system whilst trying to get kids re-enthused about my favourite subject in the world.
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    scrap the tosh they teach like PSHE and Citizenship... useless and a waste of the students time/tax payers money. although i would settle for redoing the syllabus drastically for the latter i sense it could be quite an interesting subject if they stopped teaching worthless drivel in it...
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    Don't teach kids how to pass exams - teach them knowledge of the subject. And if you're going to teach a subject, teach all of it or none - for example, if I went soley on my Year 8 History teacher's lessons, Germany was the only bad guy in WWII and Britain and America were the only ones who fought. :rolleyes:

    Also, I wish we taught Domestic Science nowadays - to BOTH sexes. I know people my age who don't know how to use a washing machine, or to cook basic stuff, like boiled poatoes.
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    The teachers are even more vacant than the portable toilets in Piccadilly.
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    cancel all islamic schools.
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    Stop making kids who don't want to sit exams/take a academic route do it. Set classes, why should I have to spend 3/4 of my education explaining stuff to the E grade student sat next to me? Should I not be stretched in my work at GCSE because the teachers time is taken up explaining stuff that should have been taught BEFORE secondary school. Or hold kids back a year or tell them to take a vocational route, I can not really see the harm.

    Also having enough chairs for all the kids to sit on might be a start...
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    I think current system is close to being perfect. It leaves a lot of choice to every individual from young age (14), therefore if you fail at life you can't blame educational system.
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    People teaching the subjects should be the cream of the crop, instead of English teachers who are failed authors, physics teachers who didn't make it as pilots, etc. I had both of these and a couple of others in various subjects, who clearly didn't want to be there, or just weren't even that good at the subject they were teaching.....my english teacher in school couldn't even spell :/

    The poster above just reminded me, I should add that compared to many other countries we do have a very good educational system and it is possible and completely doable to be successful and intelligent if you try, unlike some countries where the odds are truly against you.
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    Academic selection throughout the UK and not just Northern Ireland.
    Northern Ireland consistently get the best GCSE and A Level results out of the UK so why doesn't everywhere else take notice?
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    I'd make it mandatory for everyone to do a gcse in a language. I wish I'd been forced to do one - they're invaluable and not enough people in the UK can speak a second language.

    I'd have more vocational routes available so we aren't inundated with graduates who could have took a more practical route which is relevant to their career choice.
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    Put a greater emphasis on learning languages... a variety this time. Not just French :lol:
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    I will say it... TEACHERS! Far too many teachers in my experience are lacking knowledge, motivation, and enthusiasm for their subject.

    Also I would give subjects didn't qualification levels depending on how hard they are. Maths A-Level for example should be worth more UCAS points than a Sociology A-Level. (That's just my subjective opinion and yes, I take both subjects.)
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    How about another Maths-based subject? I know that sounds like most people's idea of hell, but I'd have liked to have been taught more statistical-based skills that most people - outside of the jobs that need them - use in everyday life. They made my set in Maths do Functional Skills, but I have no idea what universities or employers make of that.

    Also, we should be taught Politics at school. I was shocked when, during the General Election in 2010, my friend had no idea that there was a General Election going on, or what any of the main parties are. (We had to do a Mock General Election and she chose UKIP because it had the longest name ) Surely a knowledge, however basic, of our government would be more useful than, say, discovering what Muslims think of IVF?
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    (Original post by littleone271)
    I think people should come out of school knowing more about adult life as in like the organization of the government, how to write a CV and covering letters, what different types of loans are for and a basic understanding of the terminology. I wasn't taught any of that stuff at school and not everybody has parents that will take the time to explain it to them and show them how to do things.
    The problem with this is that careers etc. would inevitably be taught by teachers, who are by and large the worst possible people to teach children about "the real world". Many teachers will have zero experience of life outside the public sector gravy train, and their idea of being in the real world is going on a union strike march.

    Where do you think all the idiot trends in CVs came from? Like personal mission statements or colours and highlighting all over the place? From school careers departments, of course.

    The only way to improve things like that would be to involve industry across the board - for example to have CV writing taught by HR departments from local and national business. The problem with that is that the socialists and especially the unions will have the mother of all hissy fits, and call it privatisation.
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    Put in place some kind of voucher system, so that parents have full choice over where to send their children. Any school that wanted to charge more than the voucher rate would have to sign up to some kind of scholarship programme. The government would just enforce some minimum standards in terms of subjects that must be covered.


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Updated: April 13, 2012
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